I've been thinking about this for a bit as I don't want someone to take my boat either and I got thinking. What would I
do if I wanted to steal a boat and what would put me off it? Think as though you're a thief and you'll get most of the answers.
So, let's go and steal a boat.
1) First I've got to find one.
2) The first thing I'd do is case the area-maybe days in advance. I'd look for a way out with the boat in tow. If there's too many obstacles,it's in plain view of the owner or security or the 4x4 won't get there I won't bother with it.What I want is an easy in,easy out situation with something I can sell. What I don't want is to spend ages there,attract attention or not be able to sell what I'm planning to steal.
3) I'd turn up in a stolen 4x4 or one with false plates. CCTV is useless unless someone's monitoring it live. All I need to keep my face hidden is a balaclava. If I'm seen by anyone on site I'll have to leave rather fast anyway.
4) If feasable I'll hide the 4x4 close by and walk to the boat with the tools to remove the security. I'd get it ready to couple up and run-as long as I could get there without being seen. I want to be able to run easily if detected too-I'd rather leave empty handed and not get caught.
5) With a few simple tools that are easily available and some easy techniques I can get around any security on the trailer with minimum noise and fuss-and within a minute(I've already cased the OBVIOUS
security and brought the right tools and equipment). If I bugger up the boat or trailer it's not mine anyway...
6) I'll walk up to the boat and give it a good hard shake to see if an alarm goes off.If it does I leave. If not, I'll get the 4x4 opening any accesses/gates etc in advance. I then couple up and run. I'll do all this as quietly as possible.
7) Once I'm off the premises with the boat in tow and round a couple of corners I've got away with it.
Right. What's going to put me off or stop me?
1)I can't steal what I can't see. Don't leave it in plain view of lots of passers by or an access road if possible.
2)Make access difficult. Access that can't be made without a tractor will put most thieves right off.Barking dogs would be a good put-off but we don't all have that luxury. Locked gates are good-even farm gates. It all takes time to open up and if it's too much hassle a thief will move elsewhere.CCTV on access will help at this point-just not if you want to catch them...
3)PIR lights will alert someone to the presence of the tow vehicle. As long as the site LOOKS like there's someone there that might see them then a PIR light will scare off a thief.
4)If possible put your boat somewhere where anyone stealing it will have to pass somewhere with an inhabitant.
5)Apart from the security you need for your insurance, make any other security either too hard to disable or very hard to see. If you're using a padlock use one like this:-
Or one like these:-
The enclosed clasp is a bastard to get to with boltcutters and the padlock is usually the weak link in the chain-so shift the attention elsewhere.
Use stainless chain if possible. It's harder to get through with easily portable 'tools' that don't make a hell of a noise than ANY hardened security chain (if you know how then hardened security chain is embarrassingly easy to remove) and it takes significantly longer to get through it with an oxy-acetylene porta-pak.
A ground anchor with chain to the centre of the trailer axle will be all but invisible. It won't do your trailer much good but better that the whole lot isn't nicked. Another 'hassle' factor for the thief-once he's hitched up he wants to leave. If you're lucky it'll rip his towbar off...
6) An alarm that 'chirps' to let people know it's armed along with a tight fitted cover would scare me off. It'd be a lot of hassle to remove or slash a tight cover,get aboard a boat,boltcrop any padlocks on hatches,find the battery and disconnect it without setting the alarm off.It's not like it's in a public carpark where people will ignore an alarm-it's in storage or at your home. One with it's own backup battery would be even better. Obstructions to hitching up would put me off too-for example if I had to turn the boat through 90 degrees or manoevre it around a bit by hand to hitch up.
7)A GPS tracker would be good here.Then you can go and visit the thieves